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20 November 2010
20 Nov Day School Report

Berwick & District Trades Union Council

Day School, November 20th 2010
Twenty keen democrats attended the second of a two part interactive discussion on the meaning of democracy today. The event was organised by Berwick & District Trades Union Council and sponsored by the Northern Region of the TUC. Joining participants from Berwick were two Unite members from Edinburgh and a union activist from Peterborough. The discussion was led by John Charlton, historian and author who has written extensively on the North East of England; he is currently involved with a history project with the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) called “Mapping popular politics” and John asked for volunteers to help with research on this.
It is impossible to arrive at a conclusion on such a slippery concept as democracy but for socialists and trades unionists, the meeting agreed, it is important to recount events where ordinary people took action which led to progressive change. Perhaps the student revolt against tuition fees is a spark of resistance that will go down in history with working class struggles such as the miners’ strike of 1972 or the Poplar Council revolt in the 1920s, or, indeed, the Poll Tax revolt in the 1980s? Who knows? The important thing is to get out there and use our hard fought for democratic rights.
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